19 December 2011

Smartphone Geo-Location Tagging Is A Major Security Issue

Commenting on the ICO’s call for a rethink on location privacy, geo-location tagging security issues are likely to be a major issue in 2012 – and that many users of smartphones are unaware of the potentially serious security consequences of their use of the technology.

Now that most smartphones have native GPS/satnav features, the default setting for most pictures – and videos – taken with these devices is to embed the GPS co-ordinates along with the date and time that the image was taken.

And when smartphones upload these images to the Internet – to portals such Facebook or Flickr – there’s a strong chance they will also upload the GPS data as well. This information could be subsequently misused by third parties, perhaps for stalking purposes, or even cybercrime.

Cybercriminals are now starting to crowdsource information that is available on the Internet – using open source software such as Maltego – and then tying in geo-location data from photos.

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